The Petroleum Industry in the U K

European Commission Directives have mandated further refining activity which could potentially increase carbon dioxide emissions and therefore there is increased pressure to develop means to cope with the adverse environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions. Despite rising oil prices, there has been a decline in retail margins, thereby making it more difficult for petrol stations to stay in business. Therefore, the development of eco-friendly initiatives is likely to ensure that independent firms such as ours will be able to garner larger profits through a higher volume of sales.The U.K. oil industry has been self-sufficient since 1980 and produces approximately 2 million barrels of hydrocarbons per day (www.prospects.ac.uk). Natural gas, however, supplied 40% of the requirements for fuel in the U.K. The most common brand of petrol used in the UK is Unleaded 95 octane petrol. World reserves of crude oil are estimated at 3 trillion barrels and the UK industry also stocks enough oil and petroleum to provide for 67.5 days of consumption(www.ukpia.com: Supply). However, increased demands and fears of shortages have been pushing up the oil prices in the recent past. However, in view of predicted shortages, efforts are being boosted up through investments in the continental shelf, through speedy completion of existing projects and implementation of new projects since 2001, to enhance oil production. (Kemp, 2001).The petroleum industry in the United Kingdom is represented by a conglomerate of nine major U.K. firms known as UKPIA, that refine crude oil and distribute it for marketing in petrol stations. These firms are Conoco Ltd, Esso Petroleum, Kuwait Petroleum (GB) Ltd, TotalFinaElf UK Ltd, Chevron Texaco, BP Oil UK Ltd., Murco Petroleum Ltd., Petroplus UK and Shell UK Ltd (Crowley 2002). This organization also performs the role of informing its members about existing and proposed legislation on petroleum issues and in formulating the position of the industry on various issues, as well as serving as a database of information that may be accessed by its members.